NCAC Curatorial Workshop: On curating difficult content: Reconciling an ethics of care with artistic freedom


November 15, 2023 10:00AM—5:00PM


Creative Capital
15 Maiden Lane, 18th Floor
New York, NY

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In recent years, a renewed focus on “care” has emerged in curatorial practice, and consequently, within arts institutions. For curators and art institutions, an ethic of care implies their accountability to broader audiences and creators. It also, at times, complicates commitments to other values. What happens to the freedom to ask difficult questions, to examine contested subjects, to experiment—to make mistakes, even—when some critics claim that doing so is hurtful, causes offense, or contributes to trauma?

Through speaker presentations and group discussions, NCAC’s 5th Curatorial Workshop organized by the Arts & Culture Advocacy Program at the National Coalition Against Censorship in partnership with Creative Capital will propose strategies to address the specific challenges curators and institutions face when attempting to balance an ethics of care with artistic freedom in their programs.

Seminar leaders include: Sara Reisman, Chief Curator and Director of National Academician Affairs and former Executive and Artistic Director at the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, Radhika Subramaniam, Associate Professor of Visual Culture in the School of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons School of Design, and  Terence Washington, Manager of Civic Engagement and Programs at the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation and former Guest Curator at the MFA Boston where he co-curated the Philip Guston Now exhibition.

Application process: Apply to attend the workshop by October 15, 2023. The workshop is open to early and mid-career curators  and gallery directors- both independent and those working within institutions. The workshop is limited to 25 participants.

In the application, each participant must submit: 

  1. A brief statement of interest;
  2. A case study proposal (a conflict/controversy you are interested in discussing, whether you were immediately involved in it or not. Due to the nature of the topic and for confidentiality reasons, you may opt to change the names of individuals and institutions).  
  3. A resumé.

Upon acceptance, confirmed participants must remit a non-refundable participation fee of $75. 

Please submit all materials via this form by October 15, 2023. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by October 20-25, 2023.

For further information, please contact: 

Elizabeth Larison, [email protected]

Aliza Shvarts, [email protected]